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The aim of this summary is to provide a ‘snapshot’ of Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre (STCRC) research that informs the wildlife – tourism relationship and its management. STCRC completed a major research program to identify opportunities for wildlife tourism in Australia and to facilitate enhancement of its sustainability. After six years of research, the Wildlife Tourism Subprogram has built up an expansive range of publications and a wealth of collective knowledge, which are presented in this snapshot.

by STCRC

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Wildlife Tourism: Challenges, Opportunities and Managing the Future

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This report reviews non-consumptive tourism based on free-ranging land-dwelling and freshwater animals in their natural habitats. It provides a critical overview of the current status of terrestrial wildlife viewing in Australia, within the context of this form of tourism worldwide, as well as recommendations for action and research to facilitate the sustainable development and management of this sub-sector.

by Karen Higginbottom and Ralf Buckley

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Terrestrial Wildlife Viewing in Australia

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This study aimed to: investigate the diversity and common features amongst bird-watching tourists; determine what bird-watchers, and sub-groupings of bird-watchers, most wish to see and do in Australia; investigate the role of the tourism industry in bird-watching and investigate bird-watchers’ opinions and practices in relation to conservation aspects.

by Ronda Green and Darryl Jones

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Practices, Needs and Attitudes of Bird-Watching Tourists in Australia

 

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Australian Antarctic & Sub-Antarctic Tourism: Towards a Sustainable Industry

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Antarctica is a growing international tourist destination and is marketed as a unique nature-based experience. This snapshot document profiles key STCRC research in the field of Antarctic and sub-Antarctic tourism and the protection of the region’s wildlife. Celebrated as two of the greatest natural wonders of the world, both Macquarie Island, Heard Island and McDonald Islands, Australia’s only sub-Antarctic island groups, were granted World Heritage status on 3 December 1997. The project researched and developed Australia’s Antarctic and sub-Antarctic tourism opportunities by: assessing multi-jurisdictional legal, administrative and environmental requirements for Australian operators in Antarctica; researching the role, significance and vulnerability of wildlife tourism in the development of the Antarctic tourism product; and developing a multimedia virtual tour of Tasmania’s Antarctic and Southern Ocean sites.

by STCRC and Lorne Kriwoken, Nick Holmes, John Williamson, Melissa Giese,  Helen Achurch, S Robinson, Claire Ellis and Murray Johnson

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Australian Antarctic & Sub-Antarctic Tourism: Towards a Sustainable Industry

 

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Off-road driving, horseriding, rock climbing and similar activities can be lucrative for tour operators and important for local recreational groups, but contentious for management of national parks and protected areas, both because of safety and liability and because of potentially high environmental impacts. This report examines management strategies for these activities worldwide and in Australia. Suggestions for best management practice and future research agendas are set.

by Carl Cater, Ralf Buckley, Robert Hales, David Newsome, Catherine Pickering and Amanda Smith

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Detecting Visitor Impacts in and around Aquatic Ecosystems within Protected Areas

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In this study, we sought to evaluate: a) the range of activities undertaken by visitors to aquatic ecosystems and the likely ecological consequences of those activities, and b) the sensitivity and scale of response of existing aquatic indicators. By combining these two evaluations, we collated a list of aquatic indicators that might be responsive to the spatial and temporal disturbances associated with visitor activities in particular, and as such, might show considerable promise in being further developed and implemented in monitoring and assessment programs within protected areas.

by Wade L Hadwen, Angela H Arthington, Paul I Boon

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An Integrated Framework for Developing Ecological Indicators of Visitor Use of Protected Areas

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Protected area managers need to monitor the ecological impacts of visitor use and assess their performance in managing visitor use. To assist this process STCRC has established a series of projects to develop indicators and protocols for assessing visitor use and its impacts that can be used as part of an integrated monitoring system for protected areas. The aim of this report was to evaluate existing information related to the development of impact indicators and how these might be applied to the management of visitor impacts in protected areas. The objective was to develop an integrated framework that would deliver a range of indicators appropriate at a variety of park management levels.

by Guy Castley, Wendy Hill, Catherine Pickering, Wade Hadwen and Graeme Worboys

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